Labour MPs, MEPs criticise EU-US free trade agreement

Labour politicians in both The Hague and Brussels say they will vote against the TTIP trade agreement between the US and EU unless it is significantly altered, Dutch media report on Friday.

In particular they are worried that the deal might have a detrimental effect on workers’ rights in Europe.

‘It cannot be the case that our European companies should have to compete with US firms which flout guarantees of reasonable work and good secondary working conditions,’ Labour MEP Agnes Jongerius is quoted as saying by the NRC.

Labour MPs have already said they cannot support the clause allowing foreign companies to make claims if they feel their interests are being hurt by national governments.

The cabinet, which is a coalition between Labour and VVD, supports the TTIP in principle but trade minister Lilianne Ploumen is working on trying to get some aspects amended.

Prime minister Mark Rutte said on Thursday afternoon he understood Labour’s concerns.

The Netherlands takes over the EU presidency in 2016.

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